SARAH WOLLASTON: An honour to have been re-elected

IT IS an honour to have been re-elected as the MP for the Totnes constituency. Thank you so much to every one of the 24,941people who supported me to return to Parliament having more than tripled the majority from 2010.

However you voted, I am keen to listen and learn from your experience in order to represent our wonderful area.

Congratulations too to Kevin Foster MP, mayor Gordon Oliver and to all our re-elected and newly elected councilors.

Without all the candidates who took on the often bruising experience of fighting to represent us, there would be no democratic process or opportunity to vote on local and national issues, so thanks to all.

After almost two decades in his role, I would also like to say a personal thank you to Adrian Sanders for his long years of public service on behalf of the Bay.

As last weekend, we commemorated the 70th anniversary of the end of a war against the tyranny of fascism, it was surely the best tribute to those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom, for so many to have cast their vote.

All in sharp contrast to the despicable scenes of desecration of the memorial to the brave women of the Second World War by those who have no respect for their memory or the democracy, which is their legacy.

The south west has given a resounding vote of confidence to David Cameron.

Over the next five years we must now see the needs of our coastal and rural communities recognised with a fairer funding formula for our education, health and social care alongside further improvements to our transport links.

As 56 SNP MPs arrive in Westminster this week, they are already demanding a 'better deal for Scotland'.

Those of us in the south west would love to receive the kind of funding settlement per head already enjoyed by Scottish constituencies.

I believe these funds should follow factors like deprivation, age and rural sparcity rather than the accident of geographical borders within a United Kingdom.

If a devolved national government or assembly wishes to spend beyond that fair settlement it should be free to do so but at the expense of its own voters who can then hold its representatives to account.

I remain a committed unionist but the settlement must be fair to everyone, wherever they live within our United Kingdom.

By Herald Express 15 May 2015